The Comite des Peches has hit out at the UK policy on issuing fishing licences to French vessels

The Comite des Peches has hit out at the UK policy on issuing fishing licences to French vessels

The French fisheries organisation, Comite des Peches (National Fisheries Committee), has hit out at the UK policy on issuing fishing licences to EU vessels.

The Committee claims that by announcing the granting of a “totally insufficient” number of fishing licenses to French fishing boats to access the waters of Jersey, Guernsey and the 12 miles of the United Kingdom, French fishers believe they have been betrayed in the application of the agreement ratified by the European Union and the United Kingdom.

After meeting with the French Minister of the Sea, Madame Girardin, Gérard Romiti, President of the National Fisheries Committee declared: “professionals both from Hauts-de-France and from Normandy or Brittany, have reached a degree of incomprehension and anger which will be very difficult to appease with all the risks that these feelings carry. Collectively we reject the lists presented by the British authorities. Work, our government and us, we did it! 

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The Committee continued that this unjustified and unjustifiable decision from London comes to end nine long months of procrastination, during which French professionals fully cooperated with the French and European authorities responding to each of the multiple requests for information from the British. And we are still in the same situation of uncertainty regarding the allocation of access authorizations, but also the associated technical measures.

They say that as humiliating as it is for French fishermen, as it places it in a position of great precariousness, this situation is not, however, a surprise. “In the end, the European Commission is not such a good negotiator! Fishing had already been the adjustment variable of the cooperation agreement since we had to give up quotas, we still do not see the Commission activate the many means of political pressure at its disposal to bring the British authorities back to a more reasonable.”

More than ever, fishing professionals are therefore calling on the French and European authorities to unite and identify, over the next 15 days, all the negotiating levers at their disposal, outside the fishing sector, to put pressure on the British side, and reaffirm the value of political speech.

In these difficult times, the President of the National Committee called for “regional, national and European solidarity and invites us not to play into the hands of the British and to divide us.”

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